Daniel Grossman at The Washington Post:

Though wood still plays an important role in the construction of our homes — think two-by-four stud supports and plywood in walls, flooring and roofing — our eye most often falls on exteriors covered in synthetic materials like vinyl siding. Some playgrounds that once featured lots of wood now have our kids screaming atop molded plastic play sets. And thousands of readers will take in this review on a digital device, not on a sheet of paper made from dried wood pulp. In a world where wood is, if not absent, increasingly out of sight, British biologist Roland Ennos suggests we may not be paying enough attention to its importance. He contends that wood is not merely useful but central to human history. “It is the one material,” Ennos writes in “The Age of Wood,” “that has provided continuity in our long evolutionary and cultural story, from apes moving about the forest, through spear-throwing hunter-gatherers and ax-wielding farmers to roof-building carpenters and paper-reading scholars.”

more here.